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With Office 365 becoming Microsoft 365, administrators are wondering what this evolution changes regarding their data protection needs.
As it stands right now, not much has changed from a backup and recovery standpoint. The tools and best practices used for backing up Office 365 are still valid for Microsoft 365 backup.
So, what are some of those best practices? No. 1 is to simply make sure that you are backing up 365. Microsoft only provides infrastructure-level protection for 365. It is up to you to make sure that your data is protected. It's a similar story with other popular software-as-a-service applications -- you must back up your data and not rely on the SaaS providers.
While Microsoft presumably takes steps to prevent data loss related to a catastrophic failure within its data center, the company doesn't protect you from data loss related to the accidental deletion or overwriting of your data. Therefore, it's up to you to make sure that you have Microsoft 365 backup.
Periodically check that your backup tools can back up all the required Microsoft 365 data. Early on, a lot of the Office 365 backup products focused solely on Exchange Server, with some also supporting SharePoint. However, there are other data sources that need protection, such as OneDrive and Azure Active Directory.
Choose a Microsoft 365 backup product that will enable you to recover data at a granular level. At a minimum, you need to be able to restore individual files, email messages and SharePoint sites. You shouldn't have to restore an entire Exchange mailbox just to recover a single message.
Your Microsoft 365 backup product should enable you to restore your data to a location of your choosing. In most cases, you will probably be restoring data back to the Microsoft 365 cloud. Certain circumstances may require you to restore to a different Microsoft 365 subscription, or perhaps even to a server that is running on premises.
Finally, backup and restore operations are often tightly intertwined with an organization's compliance initiatives. Make sure that your backup software meets the required service-level agreements and that it provides the level of reporting needed to satisfy compliance auditors.
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